One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters.
She followed along behind us shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved."
This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and spoke to the demon within her. "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her," he said. And instantly it left her.
Her masters' hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.
"The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!" they shouted.
"They are teaching the people to do things that are against Roman customs."
A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods.
They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn't escape.
So he took no chances but put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself.
But Paul shouted to him, "Don't do it! We are all here!"
Trembling with fear, the jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down before Paul and Silas.
He brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
They replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with your entire household."
Then they shared the word of the Lord with him and all who lived in his household.
That same hour the jailer washed their wounds, and he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized.
Then he brought them into his house and set a meal before them. He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)